With 10 games tonight, we’ll keep these previews short and sweet. As always, start times go according to Eastern Standard Time (ET).
Detroit @ Pittsburgh
No Sidney Crosby or Pavel Datsyuk? That’s fine, because these two teams still boast other world-class talents to enthrall the hockey world. Who knows if these two clubs can manage another Stanley Cup final confrontation, but would it be that shocking if this ended up being a preview?
Washington @ Philadelphia
From a possible SCF preview to a possible Eastern Conference final sneak peek, tonight’s games has a little of everything. (But jeez, schedule makers, couldn’t you spread the wealth?) Both teams are playing pretty well, so this should be fun.
Boston @ Carolina
This might not be the same marquee matchup as the previous two games, but considering the 7-0 drubbing Boston handed to Carolina on Monday, it should be interesting. The Hurricanes have a great chance to get into the playoff picture, but getting pounded by Boston again wouldn’t be good for their mojo.
Montreal @ Buffalo
This might not be a high-scoring game, but if you like great goaltending, a probable Carey Price vs. Ryan Miller showdown should leave you satisfied. (Then again, merely writing that might jinx the game into a 6-5 slugfest.)
Columbus @ Tampa Bay
The Lightning are tied with the Islanders for the most goals allowed (148) while the Blue Jackets aren’t far behind with 142 allowed. Odds are high that this game will be the polar opposite of the Montreal-Buffalo game, but we’ll see.
Anaheim @ Ottawa
It feels awkward to remind people that this is a rematch of the 2007 Stanley Cup finals considering how much these teams have changed. But when you factor in the absence of Jason Spezza and Ryan Getzlaf, it’s probably the easiest way to hype it.
Los Angeles @ St. Louis
The Kings are coming off of a tough loss to the Stars last night and lost nine of their last 11 games. Meanwhile, the Blues are strong at home, more well-rested and will welcome TJ Oshie back into the lineup. St. Louis needs to win games like these, but it won’t be easy. I think.
Nashville @ Phoenix
If the playoffs began today, this would be the fourth vs. fifth seed series in the West. Two scrappy teams known for making the most of what they have? That would be a sleep aid for casual fans and a treat for hockey dorks.
Vancouver @ Colorado
It doesn’t take a connoisseur to appreciate this one, though. The explosive Avs take on the league-best Canucks in Colorado. Sounds good to me.
Minnesota @ Edmonton
The Wild hold a 13-point standings advantage over the Oilers, but how many hockey people would take Minnesota’s roster over Edmonton’s in the long haul? If you raised your hand, I’m worried about you … or you really, really like Mikko Koivu.